by David McDonnell
Manchester United are ready to test Tottenham’s resolve to keep Luka Modric – with a £22million bid.
The Croatia midfielder has been on Sir Alex Ferguson’s wish-list for some time.
But although Tottenham value him at around £30m, United are unwilling to pay that much for the 26-year-old playmaker.
United believe Spurs’ failure to secure Champions League football next season has eased their task of landing Modric.
The player tried to force through a move to Chelsea last summer but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy refused to let him leave.
It seems Modric is now ready to submit another transfer request, with Tottenham unlikely to stand in his way for a second summer.
However, Spurs will hold out for as much money as they can, and United are certain to have to increase their initial offer.
Ferguson has already signed Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund and is keen to add Modric and Everton and England defender Leighton Baines.
Ferguson wants Baines to replace left-back Patrice Evra, who has been first choice in the position for the past five seasons but looked vulnerable last season.
Everton, who are adamant that Baines is not for sale, value the 27-year-old at around £20m – a figure United are not prepared to pay.
Although there is always a higher premium on English players, United value Baines at no more than £15m, as his age means he’s unlikely to have re-sale value.
Baines, who arrived with the England squad in Krakow on Wednesday ahead of Monday’s Euro 2012 opener against France, said he was “flattered” to have been linked with United.
A deal for him is unlikely to be done until England’s participation in the tournament concludes.